I’m pleased to report that the FCC has begun two formal proceedings on ways to reform its procedures.
The first Notice of Proposed Rulemaking proposes rule changes to make the Commission’s decision-making processes more open, transparent, fair, and effective. The major proposals in the Ex Parte NPRM include:
- Requiring the public filing of a summary of every oral ex parte presentation
- Requiring the filing of a notice that summarizes all data and arguments presented and allowing cross-references to earlier filings where appropriate
- Establishing a preference for electronic filing of all notices of ex parte presentations
- Requiring faster electronic filing (within four hours) of notices of permitted ex parte presentations made during the “Sunshine Period,” which typically begins a week before a public Commission Meeting, for those items on the Meeting agenda
- Starting the Sunshine Period prohibition on ex parte presentations at midnight after a Sunshine notice has issued to enhance predictability.
The Commission is asking for public comment on all these proposals. In addition, the Commission is seeking comment on other topics, such as revisiting our current exceptions to the Sunshine Period prohibition on ex parte presentations, requiring disclosure of ownership or other information about organizations making filings at the Commission, sanctions and enforcement for violations of the ex parte rules, and how the ex parte rules should apply in the context of new media, such as this blog.
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